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>With Cap & Trade You Pay Four Dollars A Gallon

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Why Constitution Day Matters

September 17, 2010 | By Bethany Murphy
Two hundred and twenty-three years ago, the Framers formally signed the Constitution.
Watch the Constitution Day VideoThis document has formed the basis of our government for more than two centuries. But today, as Heritage legal scholar Ed Meese points out in the Morning Bell, it faces serious challenges:

We are faced today with two different roads, one of which follows the path of liberty set by our Founders in the Constitution, and one of which diverges from that path and leads us down the road to tyranny. There are two different warring camps within our society, and the ongoing battle between those camps has been graphically illustrated in recent primary elections and by the vicious fight over the nationalization of our healthcare system.

Heritage President Ed Feulner explains, “on many issues, this vital document is frequently ignored, even undermined, by some of the very people who have taken a public oath to uphold it.” 
Americans can still choose the path of constitutionalism, writes Meese, who serves as Heritage’s the Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow.
There is a growing movement throughout America to reinvigorate the tree of liberty, a tree whose trunk is the Constitution, whose limbs are the Bill of Rights, and whose leaves are the new sons and daughters of liberty who embody the same spirit that infused our Founders. OnConstitution Day, let Americans rededicate themselves to securing “the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” by actively working to preserve the Constitution of the United States.
» What do you think about the prospects for constitutionalism? Post your comments on The Foundry.

New START: A Step Closer to a Weaker America

By a 14-4 vote, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the START treatyyesterday, moving it to the full Senate for ratification. According to the Wall Street Journal, ”Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) has said he does not expect a full Senate vote until after the Nov. 2 election when the lame-duck Congress reconvenes.”
Lawmakers are pushing to vote with a minimum of debate, despite its severe national security consequences for the United States. While John Kerry believes the Senate only needs two or three days to debate the treaty before a vote, The Heritage Foundation national security expert James Carafano insists that “there are few issues that require greater scrutiny, serious discussion, informed analysis, and non-partisan debate than the role of nuclear weapons in national security. The Administration and the leadership of the Senate couldn’t have been more cavalier in their treatment of the treaty.”
In a new report, Heritage research fellow Baker Spring spells out the dangers the treaty poses: “The treaty’s most serious impact is the limitations it imposes on the U.S. ballistic missile defense systems. According to the Russian unilateral statement, New START ‘can operate and be viable only if the United States of America refrains from developing its missile-defense capabilities quantitatively or qualitatively.’”
“Unfortunately,” Spring continues, “substantial portions of the draft resolution are only non-binding declarations.” While the United States might hold up its end of the bargain, there is very little that can be done to ensure that Russia does the same.
START’s limitations weaken the defenses of only one of its signatories: the United States. In a new Heritage Foundation video, we take a look at how the future might look if the treaty is passed into law. The future does not look bright.
Inexplicably, the Obama administration believes that acquiescing to the demands of Russia, weakening our stance in the international community and handing over elements of our national security will improve the security of the United States.

Heritage Work of Note

  • The left has been pushing to “green” the United States by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Their favored mechanism is a “cap and trade” law, which would hurt economic recovery.  As Heritage analyst Nicolas Loris points out in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “Gasoline prices would rise by 58% (an additional $1.38 per gallon) and average household electric rates would increase by 90% by 2035 if Obama signed the bill into law. The total energy bill for a family of four would be $1,200 higher than it would be without cap and trade in place.” Even liberal think tanks have been showing that this bill will lead to reductions in income and employment.
  • Throughout his presidency, President Obama promoted the benefits of education. But he has also been advocating for nationalized standards and testing. “National standards and tests would be a significant federal overreach into states’ educational decision-making authority,” writes Heritage education expert Lindsey Burke. “But through the administration’s $4.35 million ’Race to the Top‘ competitive grant program … states have already begun adopting national standards.”  Additionally, if successful, the Obama Administration will have extended federal executive power by implementing these programs without congressional approval and without input from parents.
  • California voters will vote this November on a marijuana legalization initiative.  The reform’s supporters argue that cannabis is similar to alcohol and should therefore be treated the same.  Heritage legal scholar Cully Stimson, however, says that “to equate marijuana use with alcohol consumption is, at best, uninformed and, at worst, actively misleading.”  Besides the many toxic effects that cannabis has on human health, its use is linked to criminal behavior.

In Other News

  • The Food and Drug Administration may rule against the use of Avastin, a life-saving drug that been the last hope for many cancer patients.
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been criticized for playing political games after he added an immigration proposal to the defense bill.
  • Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer does not believe that Koran burning is protected by the First Amendment. He likened it to yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. One wonders, though, whether he believes burning the flag is protected.
  • Some South Carolinians will have their water turned off because they refused to let their property be annexed to the city of Rock Hill.
  • Venezuela has canceled its “Terror Flight,” a regularly scheduled flight to Iran and Syriathat was suspected of smuggling spies and arms.
Bethany Murphy is a writer for MyHeritage.org—a website for members and supporters of The Heritage Foundation. Nathaniel Ward; Amanda Reinecker and Andrew Vitaliti , a Heritage intern, contributed to this report.

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>Behold: The Thug Who Dismantled America

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By Don White

To be a great power demands a flourishing economic base. While trying to shift the blame, President Obama has attempted to install laws and conditions that are severely weakening America’s ability to compete.

The budget graph on the right comparing Bush’s to Obama’s is from the Washington Post.

The thief in the night has a weapon, it is taxes. I say “thief in the night” because Obama works best at night, when the lights are low and only Democrats are in House or Senate chambers to vote, unobstructed by the opposition party. It happened in the House when a 314-page amendment was proposed at 3:00 a.m. that gave away $3.5 billion to representatives for their votes, as if you could keep it quiet forever?

While unsuccessfully attempting to shift the blame, Barak Obama is installing conditions and laws, such as strengthening ACORD and promoting unions with an unconstitutional feature called card check. Contrary to campaign promises, he wants new taxes on small businesses that will severely weaken America’s ability to compete in the world.

If Obama succeeds in this madness, these companies will search for lower taxes in other countries and will pick up and leave America, resulting in massive job losses for our people and less tax revenue to run the government.

Obama’s plan means more taxes, but the more people are finding out about his insane programs, the more his grand plan unravels. And the more it unravels the harder he fights to keep his programs semi-credible. For example, he wont’ say this but by his actions we know he knows there will be massive joblessness in America if or when cap and trade is instituted. He expects it, so let’s be honest about it, Mr. President. Your massive bill gives increased bennies to those displaced for the reason their employer moves the company out of the country or goes out of business due to the high cost of doing business here after cap and tax. The worker can get up to 70 percent of his current wages for three years. Plus, he will get $1,500 to help defray costs if he has to move out of town to accept a new job.

  • Obama will soon introduce a new tax called VAT, value added tax, that will add 15% to 25% more taxes on every product reaching the consumer. The end result is that we Americans will pay more for products because businesses always pass their taxes on to the consumer. It was tried in Europe and repealed in most countries because it was a disaster. When will our current leaders learn? History is repeating itself in America.
  • Cap and Trade, better known as “cap and tax,” is an energy bill. You’ve heard of global warming? Well, the truth is there is no warming in the world, for the past six years it has been in a cooling cycle so Obama now calls it Climate Change. Seven hundred top scientists have said that any miniscule reduction in carbon emissions won’t make any difference to the climate. Besides, China and India will not limit their emissions. Some have said that one-third of the smog in LA comes from China, and we have no control over that. Companies that rely on fosil fuels will refuse to play the cap and trade game Obama has invented and will go elsewhere to do business.
  • Nationalizing health care places an added burden because anticipated mandated cost reductions from doctors and Big Pharma don’t come close to paying for Obama’s brand of socialized medicine. Obama’s ten trillion dollars in deficit spending over the next ten years is there regardless of whether Congress passes health care or cap and trade. Those are Obama’s deficits, not Bush’s. President Bush expanded the federal budget by a historic $700 billion through 2008. President Obama greatly added to that and then quadrupled the deficit going out ten years.

All of Obama’s plans and actions have severely weakened the dollar.

Taxes from the Cap and Trade bill should have provided revenue to pay for health care. But this is where best laid plans by Obama have gone awry. When Nancy Pelosi got into trouble on the “cap and tax” vote, Obama rushed to the rescue with money to bribe eight republicans to vote for it with money for their districts. These republicans have been mentioned in an earlier blog, and they won’t be around after angry voters realize they sold their souls cheaply because they got mere millions instead of billions given democrats for their states. When Bush left that TARP money for Obama to spend, he didn’t realize some of it would be used as bribe money against the Republican party. Oh, how stupidly naive and artless President Bush was and how dishonest and brilliantly deceitful the current president is!

Cap and trade money that should have gone to health care instead is headed to large liberal states like California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Michigan to bail them out of their profligate spending debacles in exchange for Democrat Congressmen votes and loyalty in the House recently for cap and tax. Buying votes is not new for Obama. That’s the “Chicago way.”

He would have gotten those votes anyway. Where he really “bought” votes was with Republicans and with Democrats in swing states such as Indiana and other more conservative places. Now, at least, the Dems can go back to their voters and say, “Yes, we voted for a bill that will eliminate that coal fired power plant, but looky what we got for you, two hundred million to buy you some new roads” or language to that effect. Those Democrats in swing states should be targeted by Republicans because they are very vulnerable. And those Republicans are also vulnerable to conservatives in the primaries.

Oh, boy, we’re going to retire the current House of Representatives if I have my way! And after that comes term limits.

When Obama said “No tax increases” for you he lied:
Will his promise for no tax increases on those making less than $250,000
run Obama out of Washington as it did to President George W.H. Bush when he said no new taxes, “read my lips?”

Just the same, Democrats claim Obama is the most successful president in history. It depends on how you define “successful.” If success is taxing Americans to death, the total devaluation of the dollar, and dismantling of our economy – then we all agree. But if success is balancing America’s budget, governing frugally, keeping America safe in what you say and do, strengthening our military, and retaining our freedoms, then he has failed and he has failed miserably.

Because of Obama, America is a wounded nation. Just examine how the dollar has tanked into the trash can so that not even China will lend us money. Consider how America won’t be able to compete with other nations if we take on added burdens of cap and trade and nationalize health care, the centerpieces of the Obama “take America down” agenda.

Look at our economy: nothing is rebounding as Obama promised, 9.4 percent of our people are jobless and the number will soon be ten percent,
and the housing industry shows little sign of recovering any time soon. Is this how Obama promised to fix this mess? No, because he created the mess. He said he would stabilize things and he’s done just the opposite — he’s destabilized everything and has become the problem — and with his massive new taxes during the recession I doubt he can fix anything. We’ll know more in September, but I believe he may already know he’s a one-term president – soon to be chased out of Washington by his own discredited policies and inept handling — if we don’t impeach him first.

He and President Carter likely will go down as the two most unsuccessful presidents in history. Obama’s undoing is that America is getting to that point fast where we will not be able to compete industrially with more frugal nations like India and China. Take all the industries away and what do you have, a banana republic unable to defend even itself.

We soon may have a tough time in areas of military readiness and capability to wage a successful war, despite the success we have had due to the Bush years in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once that terrible fate even comes close to happening, rogue nations like Iran and North Korea may misread our president’s determination to keep us free from without — he has already gone a long way towards enslaving us from within. I’m speaking to his own governing rules and the demolition of capitalism with the bailouts that make him master of our car industry, banks, and insurers.

America’s enemies must never misread the determination and creativity of the American people. We are strong way beyond what appears on intelligence reports. We’ve proven it in the past and we can again. But such a great people led by such a tyrannical leader determined to put his own people in economic and political shackles creates a real danger from abroad.

One miscalculation by these nations, who are supported by Russia and China, could cause global calamity. How Obama would react is problematical, seeing that he was so late in condemning Iran’s leaders for the brutal street killings of their own people following an illegal election of a dangerous man, a tyrant who has vowed to destroy both Israel and America, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

How Barak Obama will react will soon be known if North Korea carries out its threat to send a live missile warhead towards Hawaii on the Fourth of July. Of course, that just may be posturing and bluffing by a mentally deranged madman dictator Kim Jung Il. Let’s hope so.

If Kim doesn’t make good his threat, I hope Barak doesn’t fawn all over him like some long-lost friend. Our president has not yet learned the art of leadership in a global arena. He hasn’t observed wildlife enough and doesn’t realize that small animals don’t attack larger ones. Just the same, I’m glad our navy is prepared to shoot the missile out of the sky before it reaches its target. And then what? How does our president react? Does he go to the UN and ask for a resolution of condemnation. I hope not. He should take the bull by the horns and take out their nuclear-bomb making capability with one shot, because like in a world chess game he will be entitled to the attack. What does he do if the bomb lands on Hawaii. Same thing. He gets Congress to declare war on North Korea, alerts his men on the ground and makes massive bombing missions on multiple sites, taking out their airforce and supply lines, stopping any advance toward Seoul. But frankly, from what I’ve seen, a paralyzed Obama may not do anything except sit on his hands and wait for Secretary Gates and Secretary Clinton to make policy for him.

As David Kennedy says in his book, The Rise and Fall of Great Powers,
statesmen find themselves confronted with the usual dilema between buying military security, which conservatives stress is one of the only things governments should concentrate on, while Democrats like to beef up government by using someone else’s money (via abhorently high taxes) to securitize less fortunates (primarily illegal aliens), broading the Democratic Party’s political base to ensure reelection.

It is the above that should, but doesn’t always, distinguish the parties. Thus, when Republicans act like Democrats the people have no home, they resort to street meetings called tea parties primarily comprised of unhappy Democrats and Republicans because what it all comes down to is taxes and both parties are complicit tax tyrants, differing only by degree.

While popularity of Democrats drops, that of conservatives rises. Because of the outrageous Obama spending, those who call themselves conservatives have taken over top spot in popularity at 41 percent while the number of Dems has diminished to 31 percent and is still dropping. Who should be governing whom? No one wants to be associated with failure.

Taking from the rich and giving to the poor was a popular progressive mantra during the election. But because of deceit, even Democrats feel they have been had and that soon they will be paying higher taxes and outrageous power bills, (it could be two or three times as much as current bills), as Obama promised in the election campaign. I guess they didn’t hear him say it, or didn’t believe it could be true.

This president does lie a lot, but one thing to remember is that when he lies it’s usually to cover for some bad thing coming down the pike and not a good thing. The problem was that during the campaign he lied so much that people couldn’t tell what was a lie and what was truth.

That bodes very badly for him in international relations. Countries want to deal with someone they can count on. When they can’t, they react badly.

Pundit Dick Morris believes Barak Obama’s poll numbers will drop so drastically that by September that if he has to wait until then for health care and cap and trade, those bills wouldn’t pass. He’s been riding high on temporary popularity octane and that’s about to disapate. He knows this. It’s the reason he doesn’t allow debate on his bills in the House, for example. It’s why his administration lacks the transparency he promised. This is why he doesn’t allow time for lawmakers to read the bills before they call for a vote. Someone might get a little insight and vote no.

This practice is unconscionable. Democrats felt the criticism and this is why they hired speed readers to read the bills on the floor or the House, while the minds of members are elsewhere. But at least they can say the bill was read, but not by them. Conservatives would like to pass legislation requiring each lawmaker have time to read each bill before voting — perhaps a week or two. When you’re talking about complicated bills of 1500 pages, as was the case with cap and trade, they may need a month.

This will happen when Americans boot out Democrats and Republicns — clean the entire House and Senate — and start over, passing term limits after the next election. I urge you to vote for a very qualified new person next time, someone who has not been tainted by party politics, political bribes and deceit, an honest, intelligent person who holds conservative and patriotic values sacred. People who would never allow burning of an American flag, who would respect our service men and women and who would adhere to the Constitution. They must be charged with reigning in all the spending and dialing back the America we once knew.

>Vote Against Obama’s Health Plan

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Don White

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State Regulation: Always Beats Federal

By Don White

America now has the best health care in the world. Yes, there are people in America who have no health care – Democrats say 47 million — but there are agencies and medical services available for these people to receive health care, even if they can’t pay for it or intentionally failed to opt into a medical plan.

What I don’t like is big government telling us what we must have. For example, once we all have Obama’s health care plan which won’t satisfy everyone because it will be a cut-down, inadequate plan, then Washington will tell us to scrap our cars and drive battery-operated golf carts to get to work and that they’re going to provide one for every licensed American – all at taxpayer expense.

To most of us, that’s an extreme example of government intervention, but it’s not too far from reality, so watch out!

Today, we have many different private health plans we can subscribe to just as we have many different makes and models of cars to buy. We can choose the best one for us, and thank goodness, just as all families are not the same, health plans vary widely.

What happened to variety? It used to be “the spice of life.”

We don’t have a single payer system in America. . . not yet, but Obama is herding us in that direction even if he says he isn’t. So on all of my blogs I am spearheading a drive to get people to call their congressmen, send emails, letters, and complain about the new proposed VAT tax which isn’t “transparent”, but is a silent, hidden tax on everything, Obama’s invisible “ace in the hole” to pay for health care.

VAT means Value Added Tax

But there is no “value added” in any tax. It’s just another way Obama would make us look like Europe.

Here’s what VAT amounts to in European countries: United Kingdom, 17.5%; Belgium, 21%; Denmark, 25%; France, 20.6; Germany, 16%; Netherlands, 17.5; Sweden, 25%; and Italy 20%.

Don’t allow it. Get Washington off our backs. Obama also suggests a new sales tax on drinks of all kinds – alcohol and even sugar drinks. He knows this country is bankrupt but he wants to jab the knife into all of us one more time, and even twist it going in. Don’t let all this to happen to you and to your friends and family. Click here and read my blog on Angst Blogger and vote against more taxes.

The first detailed health reform proposal “got off to a rocky start this week in Congress, as “even moderate Republicans” attacked a draft bill by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Democrats from his (Obama’s) Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee,” the Los Angeles Times reported. This liberal newspaper said “Many of the proposal’s goals are broadly shared by lawmakers of both parties,” but GOP legislators complained they were excluded from the drafting process and that the Democrats are rushing reform.

Here are some sketchy details:

The plan “would require all Americans to get medical insurance

It establishes complex new insurance exchanges to facilitate near-universal coverage, and

Dramatically steps up Federal government oversight of the insurance industry.

Remember states’ rights? Insurance regulation today is the province of state insurance departments. It is that way for a reason, so that local people can decide on issues of insurance for local people. When you give the power to Washington, you as an insured remove yourself one step from the process. Well, if they did this in Hawaii, it must be good for Alabama, right? Wrong! Our founding fathers created a Constitution that allowed the Federal Government only those rights to rule not handled by states. Let’s not make inroads on the Tenth Amendment. The Tenth Amendment restates the Constitution’s principle of Federalism by providing that powers not granted to the national government nor prohibited to the states are reserved to the states or the people.

Why in the world would we want at this time to take away the right of states to regulate insurance? Washington has proven its inability to regulate everything from interstate commerce to voter registration and holding honest elections. It has also proven to be the most expensive form of regulation and is constantly bungling the job states can do better.

The plan skips over – for now – the two issues Republicans have most vocally opposed, a government-run insurance option and a mandate for businesses to insure employees. “Mandate.” That’s an order or authorization to act. Government, public servants, telling people and companies what they must do. The opposition party disagreed. The “Republican response was sharply negative.”

An earlier version of the bill, circulated in Washington last week, did include language describing those contentious proposals, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said in a statement, that Republicans have “been meeting with Democrats for months to discuss health-care reform, but from what I’ve seen in this proposal, it doesn’t look like they listened at all.”

The measure’s “lack of details on a public plan” come as more uncertainty is emerging regarding how such a plan would take shape.

Non-Government State and Regional Cooperatives

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., has circulated a proposal to create non-governmental state and regional cooperatives that would provide an alternative to private insurance plans. Conrad’s proposal has attracted interest from Enzi and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the top Republican on the Finance panel, presumably because it would need to meet the same requirements for financial reserves as private plans and wouldn’t be an arm of federal or state governments.

Opposition To A Public Plan

“The sooner we can get the government plan off the table, the better, in terms of getting an actual result for the American people,” Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the minority leader, told reporters. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., told Bloomberg that on June 16 the panel will begin two weeks of work on the bill.

House Democrats plan to introduce next week a similar measure that also will include the public option and mandates for both individuals and businesses

Conservatives and moderate Republicans oppose the government plan on two fronts:

It makes it mandatory for everyone to have health insurance, taking away Americans’ right to choose if they want insurance coverage or not. This may be difficult for a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat to understand, but independence of thought and action is still one of the hallmarks of free men everywhere – even when it affects their health. On the other hand, Democrats love the herd mentality, letting someone else make important decisions for them, and forcing on everyone the same quality and kind of insurance “protection.”

This “leveling” aspect of our current administration and Congress is what most quickly raises the hackles on the necks of conservatives who fear too much Washington in their lives is detrimental, not helpful. They believe private business can deliver a better package of benefits at less cost than a bungling, wasteful government plan of “one size fits all.”

Robert E. Moffit of the Heritage Foundation says Congress has already enacted a large portion of Obama’s health benefit agenda, largely through the stimulus bill and other legislation, totaling about $200 billion over 10 years in public-program expansions (SCHIP and Medicaid), including the creation of Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research, and a multi-billion taxpayer “investment” in information technology.

“If Congress enacts the rest of Obama’s agenda,” says Moffit, “Washington will exercise an unprecedented centralization of power and control over the health care sector of the economy. Already, government controls almost half of all health care spending. The debate now is about how the government will control the rest of it.”

One day Obama locked up the captains of the giant health industry — the lobbyists for the doctors, hospitals, pharmaceuticals, the insurance industry, medical technology, along with the Service Employees International Union. He put them in a room and said they weren’t leaving until they pledged to knock off 1.5 percent annually from the nation’s health care bill, accumulating roughly $2 trillion in savings over the next 10 years. They agreed, knowing taxpayers would make up the difference, not them.

How did they do this? Moffit said it was “through a series of fashionable initiatives, such as ‘administrative simplification’ and ‘standardization’ of insurance claim forms, electronic medical records, and the greater use of health information technology.” (In other words, ensure that all the transactions driven by today’s perverse health care incentives can be executed more quickly.)

Most of these “savings” initiatives are already embodied in the Obama budget. But The Washington Post recently said that Obama’s health care savings are “phony” and would only cover “a fraction” of the real cost of his health reform agenda. Without details of how exactly these changes would be implemented, no reliable estimate of savings is possible.

The joint PR offensive conducted by the Obama administration and health industry chiefs highlights a troubling feature of health care debates, past and present, according to the Heritage Foundation. Health care is one of the most highly regulated sectors of our economy. That’s why an army of lawyers, lobbyists and consultants routinely descend on Washington and state capitols, trying to manipulate the rules and regulations to micromanage their competitive position at the expense of other players.

Lobbyist.com says there are 22,000 lobbyists in Washington. That’s 411 for each congressman. The result: billions of dollars in cost shifting and a giant national game of “tag” where ordinary Americans are “it.” It is households, not government officials, managed care executives or employers, who ultimately pay 100 percent of the nation’s health care costs. And if President Obama and his allies in Congress have their way, ordinary Americans, not just the hated “rich,” will be paying more for less in the form of higher taxation. Sooner or later.

The president is asking Congress to budget an additional $634 billion over 10 years in a reserve fund for reform — without any details of what that reform would be. But many experts expect the real 10-year costs would exceed $1 trillion. That presents an irresistible temptation for Congress and Washington lobbyists to forgo any heavy health policy lifting,” says Moffit, “and to figure out how to divvy up another big chunk of taxpayer money.”

Because Democrats control Washington, we won’t see real health reform. That would mean real change, not just a transfer of direct control over health care dollars to politicians.

Real reform won’t happen until enough people like you and I, family people with real stakes in the outcome, people of both parties, stand up and speak out for freedom in health care insurance. Then we could make the various plans in both public and private health programs responsive to our needs. When we make plans and providers directly accountable to individuals and families, this will ignite a health care revolution. To Democrats, that could be dangerous.

Mr. White is a former AP newsman in Salt Lake City, former insurance company president, a CPCU, and former chairman of the Minnesota Federation of Insurance, an association of life & health, property & casualty, and auto insurers. He is considered an expert in insurance matters.